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Thoracic Cage

Bones of the Thoracic Cage

Term/QuestionDefinition/Answer
What are the elements of the thoracic cage? The thoracic vertebrae, ribs, sternum and costal cartilage.
Intercostal Spaces Spaces between the ribs, occupied by the intercostal muscles.
Sternum Lies in the anterior midline of the thorax, also known as the breastbone.
Manubrium Superior portion of the sternum, shaped like the knot in a necktie.
Clavicular Notches Notches found on the lateral portion of the manubrium that articulate with the clavicles.
Body of the Sternum The midportion of the sternum, forms the bulk of the sternum, sides are notched to articulate with cartilages of the 2nd to 7th ribs
Xiphoid Process Inferior portion of the sternum, plate of hyaline cartilage in youth but ossified in adults.
Jugular Notch Central indentation in the superior border of the manubrium, in line with T2 and T3 and point where the left common carotid artery issues from the aorta.
Sternal Angle Horizontal ridge across the front of the sternum where the manubrium joins the sternal body, in line w/ T4 and T5 and at the level of the 2nd pair of ribs.
Xiphisternal Joint Where the sternal body and the xiphoid process fuse, lies oppositie T9.
True Ribs Vertebrosternal ribs, pairs 1-7, attach to the thoracic vertebrae and directly to the sternum via costal cartilages.
False Ribs Pairs 8-10 known as vertebrochondral ribs, join to the sternum indirectly via costal cartilage, pairs 11-12 vertebral or floating ribs, have no anterior attachment.
Costal Groove Groove on the inferior border of each rib that houses intercostal nerves and blood vessels.